MSG ski tuning

By Alicia Dziak

Ski tuning in Ellicottville just got a whole lot more efficient! Thanks to the new Montana Challenge at Mud Sweat N Gears (MSG), a completely automated system makes the tuning process fast and

The refurbished equipment came from a ski shop in Toronto, making its way to MSG in August. It’s from a company based in Switzerland with the North American headquarters in Boston, Mass.In order to get ready for the installation of the 5,000 lb. machine, extra supports had to be added underneath the flooring at MSG, and the floor also needed to be leveled. The machine arrived in parts, and was assembled on-site by the Montana staff.

While a big perk of the investment is having more space in the back room of MSG, store manager Pat Wallace said it basically cuts the ski tuning time in half.

“Our goal is to tune as many skis as possible in a short period of time and turn out a quality product,” Wallace said.

The Challenge can handle two skis at a time, and once they are loaded into the machine, the tuner can program it to a variety of settings, able to accommodate specialty patterns like chevron and linear with its stone griner, and provide different angles on the edges. Once the wax is applied, the skis are put on an infrared waxer, which penetrates the wax deep into the skis. (This piece of equipment was added two years ago, and is another time and space saving addition to the ski tuning department.)

Wallace emphasized that they can also tune snowboards.

In the past, a pair of skis took about 25-30 minutes for a complete tune; with the new equipment, it can be done in 10-12 minutes.

Wallace noted that cutting down on tuning time will also free up the staff to help in the front end of the store with things like boot fitting.

MSG at 18 Monroe St., is open daily. Visit for more info.